Council stops downtown first-floor offices, for now
October 27, 2006
Truckee Town Council gave a unanimous thumbs up to an emergency ordinance that prevents offices from moving into first-floor spaces on Commercial Row.
At a special meeting Thursday night, the council adopted the interim prohibition on all uses except retail, restaurants, and bars, from Bridge Street to Spring Street on the north side of Donner Pass Road. The ordinance can be extended for one or two years to give the town more time to consider a more permanent solution.
Town Manager Tony Lashbrook outlined a best-case timeline for action on the office space issue.
He said town staff would begin work immediately to contact all stake-holders and work with them, and a more permanent ordinance could come before the Truckee Planning Commission Jan. 10, and go to the town council for final approval Feb. 1.
Realtors, both with offices on Commercial Row and elsewhere, spoke against the temporary ordinance.
John Falk, representing the Tahoe Sierra Board of Realtors, disagreed with the premise that offices were bad for downtown business and foot traffic.
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“Real estate offices generate foot traffic. People do browse the listings in the real estate windows,” Falk said.
He also argued this was a form of “backdoor rent control” because retail business owners said offices were driving rent up on Commercial Row.
Misty Young, owner of the Squeeze In, asked council to consider areas that are designed to generate foot traffic.
“Think conceptually ” picture Disneyland where they’ve created a creative historic center ” you don’t find any offices,” Young said.